There’s a book series I read and really enjoyed when I was a kid called “So You Want to be a Wizard,” and the first book was set up in a self-help style. I always enjoyed that book series and how it was written, and when I was first asked to write on this topic my mind immediately called that book back and similar ones to it.
So You Want to Be a Hands on Homeschooler
First look at who you are as a parent and as a teacher. What gifts has God given you? Are you creative? Do you enjoy building things? Can you research well? Any of these can be used to make your homeschool hands on. If you aren’t sure about what gifts God has given you then talk to your husband or a good friend. They might be able to tell you what you are not seeing. God gives everyone different gifts, we just need to figure out how to best use them.
Next look at your personality flaws and gifts. Are you well organized? Are you a messy or a neat person? Will you have a problem if there is paint on the wall or floor? Take that into account when you are thinking about projects to do. Will you remember to come back to a multi-step project the next day. I will tell you, I do not remember multi-step projects, so if it is not a project we can complete all in one sitting we don’t tend to do it. I am also not the most organized, I tend to do well with spur of the moment projects. Homeschooling is forcing me to be more organized, but I do not naturally go that way.
Finally, look at the area you’re working in. If you live in a small house, than maybe recreating a life size model of an eagle’s nest is not a good plan for you. Do you have access to parks or playgrounds nearby? What museums can you go to, or what friends know skills your kids might want to learn?
After you’ve looked at all of these things start thinking about what you are studying right now. What areas can you make hands on? Does the curriculum you are using give any suggestions for making things hands on? We are currently using All American History and each week it has suggestions for how to make the lesson hands on. Can you just take what it suggests and use that?
Through this whole process I’ve always found it best to pray and to consult my husband. I tend to leap in first and then resurface later as I’m drowning. My husband does a great job of reminding me when I’m taking on too much. God has given us many great gifts to teach our children, look and see what you can use.